Wednesday, January 1, 2014

In with the New

The last message I heard at Church in 2013 was about realizing all the luxuries we have that others around the world don't and how our speaker gave up his coffee addiction for one year to drink only water and donate his coffee spending to a clean water campaign for third world countries. Combined with the book I'm reading (for the 3rd time) The Me I Want To Be, where I was reminded my signature sin is impulsive indulgence and pain avoidance (usually I like to combine the two and avoid my pain with impulsive snacking), I knew I had to do something similar because I have finally had enough of my ever growing appetite for food entitlement. That same book reminded me, temptation is a growth catalyst, either we give in to the temptation and grow our appetite for that or we can grow in the flow of the Holy Spirit. I have previously refused to admit what giving into food indulgences has resulted in growing in me, besides a multitude of fat cells, and I'm determined to put a stop to it.

Sure I have offered my body as a living sacrifice before, I have been able to say no to bad foods before, in part or temporarily, but it's because there was always room for allowances or it wasn't beyond the stretch of my will power. My stomach has always crawled off that alter eventually. I've always said I want the kind of dietary lifestyle that wasn't too restrictive so that it could be sustainable for the rest of my life. Pfffft. I know now what a joke that is, because the only thing that has sustained is my entitlement to have whatever I want. Not just sustained, but grown.

It's a very humbling experience to go from knowing and doing all the right things, seeing and keeping results, getting a handle on understanding all the emotional and habitual reasons behind my eating, and enjoying being active, to absolutely no desire for exerting energy and stuffing my face with snack food galore. Even though I know it started with January's miscarriage, and September's miscarriage pushed me over the tipping point, I know it was all still my choice, the grief, hormones, and drugs are just an excuse. There were no ifs, ands or buts that I ate out of feeling like I deserved to feel good through food.

But I DO NOT deserve to consume excess food to feed emotions. I don't even deserve all my dietary needs being met. Not only is my indulgence in luxury foods squelching the Holy Spirit's work in my life, but it is squelching my quality of life. And to make it worse, that money I waste on my waist could make a significant impact on the lives of people who don't even have the basics, never mind luxuries.

And so, coincidentally, all this revelation happens in the last few days of 2013, but if this had all culminated in July I would still have resolved to change for the next 365 days. I wanted a length of time that was out of range of my will power alone, was thinking 6 months but the more I thought about it, doing it for an entire calendar year felt right. Specifically my goal is to strip away the most consistently tempting indulgences that are pure excess for all of 2014. That started with drinking only water, it's the most immediate need of our bodies, pure water, and just about anything else we drink is just adding something unnecessary to water. Then I wanted to eliminate the junk that has called out to me the strongest in the last 4 months, chips. Of all the things, I've never been very tempted by chips in my life until September, so I obviously can live without them, and so I will. But I knew there was still one more temptation that I find it very hard to say no too, pretty much all baked desserts; cookies, donuts, cake, etc. I'm allowing myself only pure chocolate and vanilla ice cream for the next year.

I do have a separate plan and tools to also address weight loss, so this is not purely motivated by shedding pounds, and while I expect this to impact my weight a little, that isn't my main motivation. My strongest motivation is that I hope that once and for all I will see food as God intended it. I will be helping that motivation by assigning a cost to how much I'd spend on what I'm forfeiting, adding double the cost of any temptation I purchase anyway, and collecting that money to donate to an organization that will provide clean water or food to third world countries. That should help remind me that I'm not just doing this for my own sake.

So, I hope to post regularly about this, and my weight loss too, but you can also follow my progress through Instagram #14forfeitfoodfreedom and #14foodisfuel.

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